I sat, mesmerized and happier than I'd been in a long time. I couldn't believe it was real, yet every fiber in my body knew it was and had, without knowing it until that point, waited years to have confirmed; a short piece on a lovely, kindly woman in India who causes such a commotion with her incredible healing energy that people travel across continents to be in her presence for, perhaps a minute, perhaps five. It was too good to be true.
She didn't cure them, per se; there were no blind folks suddenly able to see...she didn't "fix" their emotional problems or tell them the secret to the universe.
What, what did she do? What on earth could be so astonishingly powerful that people spent their life savings to come be near her for?
Well, she hugged them. I was transfixed, watching the footage, knowing in my gut that this simple gesture, with the right intentions, could provide more emotional and physical health for people than so many other, so much more complex strategies. You could see the transformation on the faces of the "pilgrms" who came to her. As they were interviewed, glowing, beaming, radiant with release and relief and restoration, they would say that they'd held sorrow for the loss of their mother/father/relationship/abilities for so many years and now, after the hugging session, were free of the emotional pain of this, free of the sense of loss and depression, isolation and hopelessness. For further information on the "Hugging Saint", otherwise known as "Amma" please follow these links.
As with other mammals, we humans thrive with caring, compassionate touch, particularly in the form of hugs. Many studies have been done to show that infant chimpanzees, when denied the warm embrace of their mothers, experience a failure to thrive.